I don’t think I’ve been to a circus since seeing the Shrine Circus when I was really little, Mike hasn’t been to one since going to one at the State Fair Coliseum, and G and L have never been to one. For the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen posters, brochures, and flags advertising Le Cirque Arlette Gruss everywhere we go.
Last Monday morning, we saw dozens of circus semis rolling through the streets by where we live to unload at Les Haras. (The large open area/park I mentioned in an earlier post that used to be used for raising horses.) They all had the words “Arlette Gruss” or a picture of the Arlette Gruss circus painted on the side of them. Every time we walked past the park, we’d see another tent set up, or animals — including napping camels and an ostrich walking by — and then finally the giant big top tent, which in shape reminded me of a white meringue with red stripes! They also had a metal structure in a circle high above the tent that spelled out Arlette Gruss in red lights, so you could see it during the day and night.
The whole thing definitely piqued our interest, and after talking on Wednesday to the woman (at the shop where G is taking her class) about whether or not it was something to see, we decided to purchase tickets for Friday night! We were not disappointed!!
Upon walking in, we were greeted by the smells of sweet popcorn and lovely soft lighting with drapes of red curtains everywhere and tables to stand by before entering the tent.
Once we entered the tent, we waited for an usher to show us to our seats! I don’t think there was a bad seat anywhere, with the exception of being right behind one of the large poles. The tent itself, while large enough, wasn’t gigantic and had just one ring, so it was a much more cozy, intimate setting than I had expected. We could easily see the faces of the performers and animals without squinting or using binoculars.
The ringmaster stood on the side of the tent but as he announced each act, he’d show up in a different location, including the stairs right next to our seats. There was a live orchestra up high and to the right of us providing all of the music, which was surprising to me but added so much!
The opening act had all of the members of the circus out in the ring in beautiful costumes with traditional circus music playing as they walked around, walked on stilts, 2 people swung through the air on a hoop, clowns joked, etc. It was a beautiful scene of whites and bright pinks, greens, blues, and yellows. The next 2 hours (minus one 20-minute intermission) flew by as we watched animals and acrobats, jugglers and clowns, russian bar performers and a tightrope walker, motorcycle jumpers and a laser light fight! It was indeed a magical spectacle that we all enjoyed! (See G and L’s thoughts below, in their own words. 🙂 )
G’s Thoughts and Favorites: It’s gonna be hard for me to tell you what acts I liked the most because I liked almost all of them! One of my favorite acts was the seals. You could tell that the trainer loved his job and that he was super nice to the animals. I also liked the little albino wallaby. He just hopped around the ring like no one was watching. Another act I really liked was the laser light fighting show. They were really cool because it looked like they actually had lightsabers. Sometimes they would make the lasers go on the audience. Every time I tried to touch them, they would disappear (which happened 3 times!).
Two more acts I really liked were the tightrope walker/lions and tigers and the Russian bar performer. Before the Russian bar act, the ring master told everyone that this was one of the most dangerous acts in the circus. The acrobat looked kind of freaked out when she was in the air. The tightrope walker walked over a group of lions and tigers multiple times. One of the times, he had his feet attached to rope with some kind of braces that allowed him to swing down off the rope but not fall off. He pretended to fall and most of the audience gasped. He also walked on stilts across the tightrope over the lions and tigers.
That performance led into the lion/tiger tamer doing a show with the “ferocious beasts.” One of the lions kept giving the tamer lion frown-y faces, which I thought was funny. And, last but not least, the motorcycles that came flying in through a tent entrance, over a ramp, flipping in the air before landing on a truck with a ramp on it were super cool!
L’s Thoughts and Favorites: First of all, it took Mommy and I an hour and a half to buy the tickets. Mommy doesn’t speak French very well and got confused about the sound of the words for price vs. hours — euros vs. heures. 🙂 This was my first circus ever! I loved all the clowns and stuff but did not like the parts with the animals because I felt bad for them. My favorite parts were all the little clown skits because they were funny; the juggler, who juggled five soccer balls; the tightrope walker, who walked above the lions on stilts with no net and also pretended to fall and held on by his shoes and then stood back up; and the laser show that had lights go across the whole audience. I got to put my finger on one of the lights, but every time G tried, the lights would disappear. :p It was a really fun night!